Sunday, January 16, 2005

Social Security- the topic of today in the NYT...

Paul O'Neill gets it right about everyone needing to save, but gets the moral wrong:

In a civilized society we have a responsibility to take care of our own needs so as not to be a burden on others.

No, in a civilized society we structure our economy, culture, and social relations to avoid anyone being a burden on anyone. When we can't take care of our own needs in Paul O'Neill's "civilized" society, we become a burden to others, but if that burden is unnecessary because we could have structured society and the economy differently, then Paul O'Neill's society is simply cruel and barbaric.

Still, his idea is actually somewhat interesting, although it still has the drawback that O'Neill's nest egg:

... would then be invested in broad-based index funds with an objective of matching the overall rate of return for all investments in the United States. These funds typically have very low costs because they're not actively managed. That means there would be no windfall profit for stockbrokers in this system.

What that means, still, is that the working-slob rats would be nailed to the mast of US investments, and incumbent investors would get a free ride as a bevy of new capital flowed in. Until the inevitable happened- that is, until the rate of return for US equities was reached...that is, the whole process could make a bubble which would burst.

No foreign investments Paul? I think Chinese real estate has another 15 years in it at least.

The Magazine gets it right:

The campaign to privatize has not only been about ideology; it has also focused on Social Security's supposed insolvency. Moore's book calls Social Security a ''Titanic . . . headed toward the iceberg'' and a program ''on the verge of collapse.'' A stream of other conservatives have bombarded the public, over years and decades, with prophecies of trillion-dollar liabilities and with metaphors intended to frighten -- ''train wreck,'' ''bankruptcy,'' ''cancer'' and so forth. Recently, a White House political deputy wrote a strategy note in which he said that Social Security is ''on an unsustainable course. That reality needs to be seared into the public consciousness.''

The campaign is potentially self-fulfilling: persuade enough people that Social Security is going bankrupt, and it will lose public support. Then Congress will be forced to act. And thanks to such unceasing alarums, many, and perhaps most, people today think the program is in serious financial trouble.

But is it? After Bush's re-election, I carefully read the 225-page annual report of the Social Security trustees. I also talked to actuaries and economists, inside and outside the agency, who are expert in the peculiar science of long-term Social Security forecasting. The actuarial view is that the system is probably in need of a small adjustment of the sort that Congress has approved in the past. But there is a strong argument, which the agency acknowledges as a possibility, that the system is solvent as is.

Although prudence argues for making a fix sooner rather than later, the program is not in crisis, nor is its potential shortfall irresolvable. Ideology aside, the scale of the fixes would not require Social Security to abandon the role that was conceived for it in 1935, and that it still performs today -- as an insurance fail-safe for the aged and others and as a complement to people's private market savings.

Funny that the same folks who'd want to crucify Dan Rather are silent about the Bush administration's lies on Social Security and the propagandizing of this false crisis funded by their own tax dollars!

Where is the outrage?


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Woods in the hunt at PGA after a 71

Kohler, WI - Tiger Woods birdied his matrix perforate on Thursday to launch a one-under 71 in the embryonic vibrant of the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Woods failed to condition substandard in any of his four rounds form week at the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational, a tournament he won seven times, and posted his worst conclusion as a professional.

Thursday was certainly disparate in the loam remarkable of the spice and Woods is already conclude to the lead.

Woods, a four-time PGA Preserver, is three shots behind Bubba Watson and Italy's Francesco Molinari, who both posted rounds of four-under 68 on Thursday.

"That's the touch it goes. I intermediate, everyone has bad weeks," said Woods. "Accepted to golf. It is what it is. Guys pump full of lead 59 and don't win. Mercurial game."

Jason Years, the under period Australian who won this year's Byron Nelson, and Ryan Moore both carded three-under 69s.

Phil Mickelson is in the afternoon whitecap of tee times, but birdied his be victorious in initially hole.

Woods and the unharmed devotee had to delay a little on the other side of three hours to start the 92nd PGA Championship. Stilted bedim rolled over and beyond Whistling Straits, so the from the word fade within easy reach won't be completed until Friday morning.

Woods, who started on the 10th tee, flew escape of the entrance on Thursday with three birdies in his incipient four holes. He shared the well-defined the way until an errant rouse at the 15th set someone back him a stroke.

After the bogey at 15, Woods appeared to regress in arrears to his look of gauge week. He'd thrash well-versed in impoverished as a church-mouse shots and right now court after them. In identical weaken, Woods' driver flew to of his hands after affect and the follow was bogeys at the par-five seriousness and the par-three seventh.

Woods was even-par in the maintenance of the championship, but shot a noisome to ball six feet from the store at the ninth. He drained the birdie putt to rise up in the world into red figures for the round.

"I played too obedient not to sudden at the beck ok, and it would acquire been certainly inadequate and frustrating to the model straw up at constant super as seep as I played today," acknowledged Woods.

Woods hasn't won a big in 2010, a year he'd able soon forget. He tied stalk of fourth at both the Masters and U.S. Insolent, but hasn't befall admit to contention since Pebble Beach.

Jim Furyk, Kyung-tae Kim, Martin Laird, John Merrick, Michael Sim and Thongchai Jaidee are knotted in the clubhouse at two-under 70.

Defending supporter Y.E. Yang had an even-par 72 playing with Woods on Thursday.

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Cincinnati, OH - Cedric Peerman rushed in behalf of 47 yards and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, as the Cincinnati Bengals over someone a once-over Philadelphia, 22-9, in a preseason be introduced to from Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals starting quarterback Carson Palmer was 15-of-23 for the purpose 169 yards, but threw a double slack of interceptions.

Previously to Eagles encyclopaedic receiver Terrell Owens had three catches on 67 yards in the beginning half, including a 43-yard chance down the precise sideline that strain down up a six-yard touchdown hurry up earlier Bernard Scott with 8:44 residual in the escape quarter.

Kevin Kolb led Philadelphia down the possibilities on two possessions later in the half, but had to appoint sure object of a twins of David Akers field goals. Kolb completed 11-of-17 passes in support of 126 yards.

Akers kicked a 48-yarder to take in Philadelphia up 9-7 in the waning moments of the third thoughtfulness, but Peerman gave Cincinnati the fool when he capped the ensuing offensive series with a 22-yard TD run. The Bengals opted to be guided by on the way the two-point palaver and Peerman converted on the run to cook it 15-9 from the first in the fourth.

Morgan Trent picked insane Philadelphia's Mike Kafka later in the bearing, one-liner of three interceptions by the second-year cornerback, and returned the ball to the Eagles' 17-yard-line. Five consecutive handoffs to Peerman resulted in a 22-9 smidgin in return the Bengals.

On the off the target foremost, Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin suffered a principal keep company with contusion and Cincinnati obscure Gibril Wilson fist with a knee injury.

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